New Plan released by MPs Field and Davis could help shake up Social Housing Right to Buy scheme.

Two prominent MPs, David Davis (Conservative) and Frank Field (Labour), have put together a report suggesting that the Government go further with their proposed changes to the Right-to-Buy scheme – providing the opportunity for potentially another 1 million tenants to get on the property ladder.

To read the full article, click here.

Councils in fears over RTB effectiveness

PropertySurveying.co.uk – With the Government currently consulting on proposals to increase the maximum discount under Right to Buy (RTB) to £50,000, fears are growing around local authorities that new homes will not be assured as a result.

The consultation’s wording reiterates the Government’s commitment to replacing every social housing unit sold with another affordable home. Some councils, however, are arguing that the borrowing caps their financial resources are governed by restrict them from being able to raise the necessary capital for this goal. With unit values as low as £70,000 in some areas, some councils could be looking at receipts as low as £20,000 to build a new affordable house – something which the Communities and Local Government Department itself believes will cost £40,000 – £50,000 per unit.

Young people to be restricted to two year tenancies in London Borough

surveyorsbarnet.co.uk – The Council for Barnet in London has put forward plans to restrict tenants aged 18-25 to just two year tenancies as part of a shake up of its housing allocation policies.

The tenancy agreements would also be conditional upon unemployed tenants taking part in skills development, training or education which could lead to employment. They would, of course, be reviewed every two years; allowing the council to reallocate housing away from those, for example, not deemed to be trying hard enough to find gainful employment, and towards those deemed to deserve greater support.

Additionally, new tenants over the age of 25 would be offered a five year tenancy agreement, the minimum outlined by the Government.

Both measures are part of a wider exploitation of the powers gained through the recent Localism Act, with additional moves towards prioritising social housing for servicemen and women and towards tackling under occupation.

More information on under occupation and underused homes can be found here.

London’s Lloyd’s Building Now Grade 1 Listed

surveyorslondon.co.uk

At nearly twenty six years old, the Lloyd’s building is now one of the youngest listed buildings in the country and joins just a handful of post war structures to receive the accolade.

The listing was carried out by the Minister for Tourism and Heritage, John Penrose, on the advice of English Heritage.

English Heritage’s Designation Director Roger Bowdler said: “We are delighted that the Minister has endorsed our advice to list the landmark Lloyd’s building at Grade l. Its listing at the highest grade is fitting recognition of the sheer splendour of Richard Rogers’s heroic design. Its dramatic scale and visual dazzle, housing a hyper-efficient commercial complex, is universally recognised as one of the key buildings of the modern epoch.”

It is a world renowned structure and a building that has been described as “heroic and Cathedral like”.

To read more on listed buildings and how they affect you, click here.

For further information on VAT and listed buildings, click here.

Alterations to Listed Buildings and VAT

Legislation and general red tape surrounding listed buildings can often be confusing and open to interpretation by an individual.  The situation with Value Added Tax (VAT), charged by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), is just one of many such complications.

To read more, click here.

Tree root High Court case ruling welcome news to local authorities

 A recent High Court ruling decided the local authority in question was not liable for damage caused by their tree as long as they were unaware the tree posed a real risk to the property in question – a new precedent for future cases and a cause to breathe a little easier for local authorities.

To read more, click here.

Richest buyers costing £1bn in stamp duty Avoidance

Stamp duty avoidance on £1m+ properties could be causing the Government a loss of £1bn in revenue. With pledges from Mr Osborne earlier this year to tackle tax avoidance, many will be pointing to this as an area he should be scrutinising closely.

To read more, click here.

In case you missed it…….Wayne Rooney commissions architect to create garden shed whilst the dirty rat creates chaos in Manchester!

manchesterbuildingsurveyors.co.uk – Wayne Rooney has commissioned the services of award winning architects, Pulmann Associates, to design him a brand new garden shed, replacing the previously paltry shack with a ‘mega-shed’ three times the size. This whilst at the other end of Manchester – dirty rat wrecks home!

Read more here!

High Court to assess Norfolk County Council’s £500m waste incinerator battle

kingslynnsurveyors.co.uk The people of King’s Lynn have taken their battle with Norfolk County Council to the High Court in proposals for a judicial review of the planned £500m incinerator development on the outskirts of their town.

Read more on the case on the propertysurveying news website here.

Should rules surrounding the ‘Green Belt’ be relaxed to allow for further development?

A new report originating from a popular think-tank, ‘Policy Exchange’, has put forward strong arguments for the relaxation of rules surrounding development on ‘Green Belt’ land.

To read about these arguments and the wider response, click here.